As we anticipate the turn of the calendar from 2019 to 2020, it’s a good time to think about where the healthcare industry is heading and why. How will the online experience evolve to serve healthcare needs? Which groups of people will need the most support? Below, we’ll examine four healthcare industry trends, how they’re shaped by technology and population changes, and the ways in which LoctekMotion is rising to meet these new challenges.
Wellness through the Internet of Things. The basic definition of the Internet of Things (abbreviated as IoT) is connecting any device with an on/off switch to the Internet – and, therefore, to each other. Obviously, what comes to mind first is the cell phone – but with so many smart products now, this can include anything from a wearable mobile device to a refrigerator. The IoT has exploded in recent years and will continue to grow exponentially in the coming decades. As IoT use grows, users will be more connected than ever before and able to automate more aspects of their lives. For use with our ergonomic height adjustable desks, LoctekMotion has developed an IoT box which can be attached underneath the desktop for the purpose of automatic timekeeping of employee hours at their desks. No need to fill out a time card or punch a clock! This will help to ensure that employees are taking their recommended breaks to stand, stretch and move around – advantageous for their own health and for healthcare costs of the company – as employees become more wellness conscious.
Apps to collect and monitor health data. Piggybacking off the IoT, there are multiple applications for medical and health-related apps on mobile devices. Remote patient monitoring uses wireless technology to track patient medical information. For select populations, physicians and other clinicians track data to monitor the status of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and asthma and intervene if necessary. This helps to keep healthcare costs down by reducing the amount of maintenance visits. Individually used wellness trackers are also popular, keeping data on heart rate, step count and sleep quality. In the workplace, these apps can be used to provide reminders for regular hydration, looking away from the computer screen periodically, and sitting, standing and moving at regular intervals throughout the day. LoctekMotion has started design on a health app to partner perfectly with the wellness benefits of our standing desks.
Increased elderly population. In America, the number of people 65 and older is expected to almost double in just over 40 years – from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060. Rates of elderly people living alone have increased in the past several decades, with more divorced older adults. Relating to the above-mentioned health monitoring, elderly people are more likely to have chronic health conditions that require monitoring and can benefit from health apps. Additionally, features that make a home easier and more accessible will help older adults live independently for longer. LoctekMotion’s adjustable shelves can assist in safely reaching stored items. Our height adjustable desks and other furniture provide the versatility required for the changing needs of different life stages, such as wheelchair access.
Continued rise of obesity rates. Obesity rates have been increasing significantly for well over 50 years. As of 2008, the estimated medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion per year. Conditions caused or worsened by obesity are serious and include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and even some forms of cancer. Relatedly, a study on current global medical trends found that top health risk factors are high blood pressure and cholesterol, physical inactivity, poor nutrition and stress. Based on those risk factors, it’s not surprising that the most prevalent medical conditions in the world are cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular and musculoskeletal conditions. Once diagnosed, some of these diseases can only be managed, not cured – and some even lead to premature death.
The key to combating all these conditions is prevention. Fortunately, implementing a standing desk into a sedentary work day can offer preventative perks toward almost all of these risks! Proven benefits of standing at least some of the day include: reduced risk of heart disease, more calories burned, reduced back and neck pain, improved mood and energy levels, optimized blood and oxygen flow and increased muscle engagement and strength. With our standing desk kits, height adjustable conference tables and other sit-stand solutions, LoctekMotion aims to combat the conditions often caused or worsened by too much sitting.
As we head toward a new decade, LoctekMotion continues to be on the forefront of healthcare industry trends – fine-tuning our technology and products to adapt to an ever-changing world.